|Project by Peter Oxley||posted 02-01-2012 08:34 AM||24826 views||42 times favorited||18 comments|
I wanted to build a horizontal router table, and I found a bunch of different plans with all kinds of vertical adjustment mechanisms, but I wasn’t thrilled with any of them. Then I came across a commercial table from MLCS that used a handwheel directly above the router to slide a square router plate up and down, and decided I liked that solution.Unfortunately (in my opinion), most commercial and shop-built horizontal tables suffer from one design flaw: the four lock knobs used to secure the router plate at the correct setting.
- Four knobs to lock it down? Four?
- If they stick out the front where you can get to them, they could potentially be in the way of an odd-size/shape workpiece
- Seems like a pain to get to the two below the table
I wanted to lock my height with a single knob, which I did by putting a jam knob on the adjustment screw. Unfortunately, this led to another issue: getting the baseplate flush with the fence and keeping it there. Turns out, the four lock knobs serve this secondary purpose, too. I dealt with this problem by building a carriage that rides on sliding dovetails (some of my friends may recognize a trend here). If built carefully, the dovetails can be very tight and still slide smoothly and easily when waxed. I purposefully left a gap between the carriage and the router base, then used screws through the base and jack-screws through the carriage to adjust the baseplate to perfect alignment with the fence. You can kind-of see the jack-screws in the third picture.
Since I don’t have to access lock knobs under the table, I was able to make a channel for dust collection directly under the cutting area. This does a great job of clearing the debris. You can see the wind-tunnel in the fourth picture.
The adjustment screw is 3/8”-16. After adjusting the wrong direction several times, I labeled the hand-wheel. It’s pretty bad when you have to leave yourself notes about which way is up!
The cross-member can be adjusted up and down, but I never move it. Probably wouldn’t do that again.
I’m thinking about building a mortising attachment for it, but that’s not very high on my list right now.
Materials are PB Melamine, Baltic Birch ply and soft maple, as well as various hardware.
If you’re planning to build one of these, check out this horizontal router table for more ideas.
——- EDIT 02/02/2012——-
I just wanted to add a couple of points about safety with a horizontal router:
1) The router bit should be below or in the workpiece, not above it
2) The workpiece is fed from left to right – the opposite direction from a standard router table